Friday, August 8, 2014

Kinder Curriculum for 2014-2015

OK let's try this again.

I can't believe it is August already.  I wait all winter for summer to arrive and it is gone in the blink of an eye.  Not to say I don't love fall, because really fall has become my favorite season, the temperatures, the holidays, the colors.  I just don't love how quickly the warm seasons pass and how long the winter seems to draw out.

However, now that August has arrived, I am in even more of a panic about getting ready to officially start homeschooling!  I plan to start on August 25 and aiming for a 4 day school week Mon-Thurs, with Friday being Co-op day.

I am mostly prepared for M's kinder curriculum, although I will have to put together some science and social studies activities as we go.  I am planning to start some theme and LOTW activities with my little one who is almost 3!  I still have some things printed from when M was little, but I am still trying to put all of her stuff together and figure out how I am going to do school with Mason and keep her occupied.  

Here is what I have planned for M's Kinder Curriculum for 2014-2015

All About Reading Level 1
Teach Your Monster to Read
And of course lots and lots of books.

Handwriting Without Tears Letters and Numbers for Me.  

MUS Primer and I have Alpha if I feel like he gets ready for it

Continuing Positive Action Preschool Exploring God's Love

Social Studies
I am going to try to go over the topics in What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know
Evan-Moore Beginning Geography

Also trying to cover topics in What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know

Draw Write Now books

We will just be reviewing vocabulary he learned in his Spanish class this summer and a book called Hide & Speak Spanish

After we get started I will also try to make a post each week sharing what we used for our Tot school that week.

Linking to:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Moment (or more) of Panic

My oldest is going to be 5(!) in less than a month!  It feels like it hasn't been long enough for him to be turning 5 already, yet at the same time, it also feels like I can't even remember what life was like without him!
So I am having a moment of panic now that I have realized that next year he will be a kindergartner!  We have been homeschooling preschool off and on for the past couple years, but I really feel like next year I need to be much more consistent and intentional.  M already asks to do school almost daily, but he is also very resistant to learning new things.  We tried and failed at the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons book.  Neither one of us really cared for it.  I really, really want to purchase All About Reading Level 1 for him, but at the same time, it is a bit expensive for us, and I don't want to spend a lot of money if it is not necessary.  So many homeschoolers tell me it is not necessary to really spend much money at all on curriculum for Kinder, so I am going to try to wait it out and see how he does before buying expensive curriculum.

I am also really concerned though because M is so resistant to me teaching him.  He will intentionally give wrong answers for things that I know that he knows or pretend like he forgot letter sounds.  I can tell him a sound or word and 5 seconds later he will tell me "I don't know."  Now this could just be a phase, except that so far it has pretty much lasted the last 3 years!  He did it learning his colors, then learning his letters, and now learning to read!  Sometimes I will see him read a word on his own, but if I ask him what it is he will say he doesn't know or that he can't read it.  I am pretty convinced that it is quite a bit more his personality vs just a phase.  I can already tell a difference between his little sister who is quite happy to try to tell me colors or try to do letters.

I am not entirely sure how to handle this resistance, but I am hoping to try to figure out some ways to teach him through things that he is interested in.  He is particularly interested in dinosaurs, and also really likes space and animals.  I am not quite sure how I am going to do that, but I am going to continue doing our Bible lessons and we are going to continue with MUS Primer for Kinder, neither of which we got very far in this year.

He also has a subscription to Reading Eggs and ClickNRead.

We joined a homeschool co-op this past year and it has been great to meet other homeschoolers, but he was just in the 4 year old class this past year.  Starting in the fall he will be in K-2 level classes (just 2 classes one morning a week).  I am slightly concerned how he will do, but he is actually excited about the classes, so hopefully he will do well.

I hope to keep up with this blog more in the next year to help document our homeschool journey.

Friday, August 5, 2011

T is for Turtle Week

Ok, so I failed miserably at my goal of starting tot/preschool during the month of July. Between being pregnant, anemic, having contractions, having MIL in town for 2 weeks, my husband out of town for a week and my mom being here that week, spending anywhere from 1-3 days a week in doctors offices for appointments/ultrasounds/NSTs, and being generally exhausted and for some reason not really able to function between the hours of 9 - 11am, I did not even manage to get prepared for the weeks, let alone do many activities. The first week "T week" we actually managed to do the most, but after that it went all down hill from there, and mostly we only managed a couple letter matching activities and coloring sheets after that.

I also haven't gotten a whole lot more prepared for the fall, I have been printing/cutting/laminating little bits at a time, but I am so far from having anything really planned prepared.  I am not actually sure that we will start our LOTW stuff until maybe after the baby is born or maybe even January, though I am still trying to get it all printed.  I think I am just going to try to find some fun activities to do with them more during the fall until we get settled with the new baby.  I think I will try to do the sensory bins still each month, and maybe some activities to go with each months theme.  I also bought the Montessori at Home e-book by John Bowman and am reading that a bit at a time to come up with some activities for the boys to do.

Here is a little bit of our "T is for Turtle" week.

We started out with the turtle size sort:

Then we did some letter matching...I ended up getting out one of a different letter for M so that he could have his own.  In order to save on laminating, I glued the lower-case and capital letter match sheets together so I could laminate them as one sheet that would be front and back.  (And for the letter matching, I couldn't find the wooden disks, but I started saving water bottle caps and used those for the letters)
Then they did some color matching with the felt popsicles I made:
That afternoon I put M down for a nap and started some of the You Can Read lessons with T.  Here is his dot to dot sheet:

The next day we started with the dot markers, which the boys liked so then I printed off some circle sheets for them to do also. 

Another day they did some turtle color matching and lacing:

I helped M put his string through the hole and then let him pull it through:

And the last day we made paper plate turtles:

Linking up to:

Tot School

Monday, July 18, 2011

First Sensory Bin: Pond Theme

We started our tot school/preschool on July 11 and this is definitely going to be a learning process figuring out what works/what doesn't and how to do things with 2 boys at very different levels, but yet they want to do everything exactly the same!

Luckily the sensory bin was probably the greatest success of all the activities. They both loved playing with it, and asked for it several times.

I will save all the other details of our first week of tot-school for a different post, I will hopefully have that up soon.

For now I will just share our first sensory bin. I have decided to do one per month, and we will have one theme per month instead of trying to do a theme to go along with each letter of the week. We are starting with a pond theme.

In the Bin:
Blue dyed rice 
Felt lily pads
Frogs and Turtles from Safari Frogs and Turtles Toob (bought from Amazon)
Dragonflies from Animal Planet Bugs in a Tube (bought at Toys R Us)
Fish from Circo Underwater Life Collection Tube (bought at Target)
Snail aquarium decoration I had because many years ago it lived in a hermit crab tank
Cards from the Pond Preschool Pack at Homeschool Creations

We did a little matching of the objects with the cards:
They didn't play with it long that day because their neighbor friend came to the door wanting them to play outside.

The next pictures are from a different day.  I had found these M&M cups at Walmart and thought they would be great for sorting activities and such.  So I gave them each a cup and a plastic spoon and they scooped the rice into the cups.
This is what the bin looked like when they were done.  They ended up with all 5 cups in there and they (mostly T) sorted the objects by color putting the green turtle in the green cup and so on.
I'd say we made if a good 15-20 minutes before the rice started ending up outside the bin in large quantities.  I think they had a great time with it, and I really look forward to putting these together for all the themes I have planned for the next few months!

Linking up to:

Tot School

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Organizing for Preschool: Part 1

I still have a ton of organizing to do along with a lot of printing and laminating, and figuring out where everything will go, but I thought I would go ahead and share the start of my organizing process for all the letter printables and such I am collecting.

I started with a 1 inch binder for homeschool stuff, but then decided that I need to split up "my" homeschool info from the actual printouts.  So I am keeping the 1 inch binder for keeping a calendar and resources, I haven't gotten the tabs and such on it yet, I will try to get pictures of it, when I get it ready.  Then I had a 3 inch binder sitting in the closet luckily, so I decided to use that for storing all the printouts.  It may not work for everything, and I actually got a little set of plastic drawers for storing the flash cards and such, but here it is so far.

A section for colors:

 I have a page protector storing the color game pages I laminated for the different LOTW color matching.
 A section for shapes:

 A section for numbers/counting/math:

 My section for each letter, I bought alphabet tabs ready made for this:

Examples of the T section, I punched holes in the laminated full pages and put some tracing pages in a page protector:

I used a page protector to store the smaller cut out activities, this is what may have to change as I start getting more and more of these printed out, because it will make my binder huge!

 This is my alphabet review section, for anything that isn't specified to 1 letter of the alphabet:

My You Can Read section:

Some are in page protectors, others laminated with hole punches, or the coloring pages are just hole punched since those won't be laminated:  So far I have only printed out Unit 1, but am thinking about how I am going to separate the different units. 

I am linking up to:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Planning and Printing

I have been spending nearly every free moment planning for tot/preschool the past week or 2.  My new black ink cartridge is already screaming it's going on empty!  I am going to try getting them refilled at Walgreen's and hoping they can do that so that I don't have to order a new cartridge every time.  I also have a laminator on order from Amazon!  Can't wait for it to come in!  I already have stacks of papers to be laminated as soon as I get it out of the box!

So what will I be using?  I decided that it would be easiest on me to go ahead and use curriculums and printables that are out there for the most part (though I do have a few ideas of my own that I am hoping to be able to make soon!).  So I went ahead and purchased Confessions of a Homeschooler's LOTW curriculum, and her K4 expansion.  I also purchased access to 1+1+1=1's You Can Read Bonus section.

I have 3 - 1 inch binders, one for each of the boys and 1 for me.  I did create a cover page for T's You Can Read section and a cover page for a School Tools section for my binder.  That is about all I have accomplished for that so far.  Once I get more done, I plan to take pics to share.  And if I can figure out how to share printables, I will make the cover pages I made available for download.

I had no idea how addicting planning for homeschooling could be! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First Story Time

I have been awful about actually taking the boys out to do things because A) I didn't really know where to go and what to do and B) Taking 2 toddler boys for an outing was a little bit intimidating. 

Thanks to one of my amazing neighbors for inviting me to a MOPS group and getting me out and meeting up with her other friend (and my other neighbor's's a small world :)).  I have decided that this summer I really want to try to get out more and take M out more, because come September, taking care of 3 kids, one being an infant, it's going to be really hard to get out much.  Not too mention trying to stay in during flu season with an infant!

So this morning I got a text message inviting us to go to the park.  Now I am off from babysitting T for the month, so I texted my sister and asked if she and T would like to join us and I would go pick them up.  So we had a nice morning playing at the park and then we were invited to go to story time at the library by our house.  So my sister and I picked up a quick lunch and ate and then took the boys to their first story time. They did so good!  Both boys sat through the whole story and then sat and colored at the table!  I think it helped that we went spent the morning at the park so they had gotten lots of energy out running around and it helped them to have the other kids they knew so they could follow their example since the other kids were experienced story-time goers. 

I was so proud of them, and so glad to get that first experience out of the way!  Now I think I will definitely be taking them back regularly! 

Unfortunately I didn't think about taking my no pictures today.